About four years ago, I bought some colorful thread at Goodwill. (If you keep reading this blog for any length of time, you’ll see that Goodwill makes a fairly frequent appearance.) I had a vision for this purchase to be used in some meaningful way–but I didn’t know what that was.
First, I gave the thread kit to Mama, the consummate seamstress, quilter, and tailor in our family. But she got a brand-new, high-tech sewing machine and needed to use only new thread. Later I asked to get the thread back–because I’d landed on a purpose for it and wanted to put it to use.
Before moving to Orlando, I read an article about My Brother’s Keeper Quilt Group, which provides sleeping bag quilts to the homeless. They request quilt tops from volunteers to help with their work. So I recruited my mother to help me make a quilt top (no quilting required) and asked for her to contribute pieces from her fabric stash to do so.
In about a week, we’d put together a 7 ft. by 7 ft. quilt top featuring everything from gold corduroy to a bright Animaniacs print. (Remember them?) With my minimal sewing skills–and the need for help when using a sewing machine–I felt proud of the accomplishment.
After this, I didn’t consider making another quilt top until the end of 2013. For my birthday in early 2014, I’d asked for more fabric scraps from Mama to make another quilt top. Only this time I would make it by hand, using the thread bought years earlier at Goodwill.
I used a great deal of thread, the quilt top took shape, and then I hemmed the edges with a borrowed sewing machine.
Afterwards, I still had thread left in that cracked, plastic little box. So since it wasn’t yet used up–and I’d enjoyed the simple sewing–I asked for more fabric pieces. Once again, Mama shared her excess with me for my birthday this year. I got down to business.
The sewing project this year is not yet finished. It’s still in process, still taking shape. Still being formed into the object it was intended to be, to serve the purpose it’s being created to serve.
Like me. Created by God to serve a purpose, still being formed into the finished product. In the New Testament, Philippians 1:6 assures those who follow Jesus that God will finish the “good work” that He started in us. I’m counting on it.
And my thread? This is the “after” picture. It’s spent. This thread box has hardly anything left to give, but I’ll use it until it’s used up.
Me, too. I want to be poured out, invested in a purpose, my resources used for good. In Isaiah 58:10, God tells His people that, if they spend themselves on behalf of the hungry and the oppressed, their light will shine. (Don’t take my word for it, though; have a read yourself.)
One day my thread will be gone–but not gone. Instead? Used up and used well. Hopefully, me, too.